By Tara McKelvey for BBC News. People in West Virginia don’t like Barack Obama. But in a state with the nation’s highest rate of lethal overdoses, they’re ready to try anything – even the president’s lefty approach to fighting drugs.
Obama is talking with people in an auditorium at the old Roosevelt Junior High School, which is now a community centre in the Charleston, West Virginia’s East End neighbourhood.
He’s open-minded about drugs. As he wrote in his 1995 book, Dreams From My Father, he smoked marijuana and tried cocaine when he was in high school.
(He doesn’t anymore. When I asked a spokesman, Eric Schultz, on Air Force One whether the president smoked pot in the White House, Schultz gave me a hard stare and said: “No.”)
Yet it doesn’t take “Freudian analysis”, as Jonathan Caulkins of Carnegie Mellon University says, to understand why Obama favours innovative ways to look at the nation’s drug problem.